When we founded Brick Buddies several years ago, it was out of necessity. There were very few STEM opportunities in our area. The FLL team we were on, folded; camps were few and far between. There wasn’t a single school fielding a robotics team on any level in our county. But fast-forward a few years, dozens of outreach events and mentoring later, and all that has changed.
This is a photo of JD, helping his new VEX teammates set the Field Elements for this year’s Game, “Toss Up” for their rookie season as part of a new Applied Robotics Magnet in our County. After years of lobbying the school board, and convincing and mentoring their CTE schools to start competitive robotics teams, and hosting the County’s first tournament, we are able to reap the rewards of our own impact!
Brick Buddies has always preached the measureable impact of outreach. We have never been involved in FLL and FTC for awards or Blue Ribbon recognition. Anyone can show up and demo a robot somewhere. We challenge teams to think about the affect they can have in their own community. And not care, whether it’s good for Judging. Brick Buddies will be taking a sabbatical and not participating in FTC for the 2013 season. We’ve made some long lasting friends here that we know will endure through our other robotic endeavors. Nobody is ever really far away! We’ll be volunteering and I’m sure we’ll still see everyone this season. And we plan to continue our normal outreach activities. Because, it’s outreach, not a photo-op.